Meal delivery start-up DoorDash plans stock offering

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) – DoorDash on Thursday began the process of going public with a United States (US) stock offering that could value the popular restaurant meal delivery service at more than USD10 billion.

San Francisco-based DoorDash said it confidentially registered with market regulators at the Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering of shares, allowing the company to begin work on the listing without disclosing its finances.

The price and number of shares had yet to be determined.

DoorDash backers including Japanese financial titan SoftBank have pumped more than USD2 billion into the start-up, which last year was given a valuation of nearly USD13 billion.

DoorDash, founded in 2013 by Tony Xu and two other Stanford University students, serves some 4,000 cities in the US and Canada and reaches some 80 per cent of US households.

The start-up has expanded to Australia and Canada.

DoorDash late last year revealed that a breach of its system exposed data of nearly five million customers, eateries and ‘Dashers’.

DoorDash assured users in an online post that it immediately blocked the intruder’s cyber access and enhanced system security.

DoorDash last year acquired crosstown rival Caviar in a deal valued at USD410 million.

DoorDash said it made the cash-and-stock deal with Square, the digital payments firm led by Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, which acquired Caviar in 2014.

While both firms offer on-demand delivery from restaurants online and using smartphone apps, they have different geographic “footprints” and restaurant partnerships.

DoorDash was in the news last year over a tipping policy that allowed the company to use consumer tips to make up base pay for its delivery contractors, a policy that was later modified.

A person checks the DoorDash food delivery application on her smartphone in Washington DC. PHOTO: AFP